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Child & Family Center to close day care

Program for low-income families shuts doors on June 30; 12 staff to be eliminated

Posted: May 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 10, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The Santa Clarita Child & Family Center will soon eliminate its day care program for low-income families, citing continuing cuts in state funding, officials said Monday.

The program’s final day will be June 30 after running for 20 years. Continuing to run the day care program would cost the center an annual loss of more than $150,000, officials said.

“The board, center management and every staff member are extremely regretful that the day care program has to be ended after 20 years, but without question the overall financial stability and services offered by the Child & Family Center would be endangered if this program was not eliminated,” said Darrell Paulk, the center’s president and CEO.

Closing the program, which caters to 3- and 4-year-olds, will affect 70 families.

Meanwhile, 12 staff-member positions representing 6 percent of the center’s total workforce will be eliminated as a result of the closure, according to a statement.

Parents are referred to the program by the state, said Lois Bauccio of the center’s nonprofit foundation. All the children come from low-income working-class families from the Santa Clarita Valley area, she said.

The preschool is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week.

“It allowed families a safe place to send their children while (their) parents were at work,” Bauccio said. “This is a very regretful situation for us.”

Bauccio said the center is working with local school districts and the state to find alternate preschool for the children affected. Thirty-five 3-year-olds enrolled in the center’s day care program will need to find a new preschool to go to next year, she said.

Center officials are working to get more funding from Los Angeles County’s Mental Health Department to expand its infant and toddler program that provides therapy for children up to 5 years old who suffer from mental health problems, Bauccio said.

The Child & Family Center has depended more on government support as charitable donations for the center have dropped in recent years.

Community support for the program made up 8.4 percent of the center’s total revenue in 2008, but only 4.5 percent of its revenue in 2009, according to reports. During the same period, revenue from the government increased from 90.6 percent to 94.5 percent.

The center will continue providing therapy for children, teens and adults suffering from mental and behavioral problems.
More than 850 Santa Clarita residents receive treatment for depression, anger and anxiety and other health issues, according to a statement.

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